Where is democracy in Africa?

The endorsement of the recent poll by African observers shows how low the standard of democracy is on the continent, analysts have said.

Reports have also shown that the Israeli company, Nikuv, which stands accused of helping to rig the election on behalf of Zanu (PF), draws its clientele from a number of African governments.

In Zimbabwe, Nikuv has been accused by MDC-T of manipulating the voters’ roll in conjunction with the Registrar General’s office in favour of Zanu (PF).

According to analysts, African leaders do not have the moral authority to judge other countries on democratic practices.

SADC guidelines and principles on elections call for universal suffrage but

according to the Zimbabwe Electoral Support Network more than 750,000 urban voters were missing from the voters’ roll.

University of Zimbabwe political scientist, Shakespear Hamauswa, told The Zimbabwean that Africa was still in the process of democratisation. He said Zanu (PF) had preached peace during its campaign because the party knew that with violence, elections would be disputed. He pointed out that although SADC observers had declared the election free, they could not confirm its credibility.

“Involved citizens should champion their democratic processes. Democracy is a process not an event,” he said.

National University of Science and Technology political analyst, Lawton Hikwa, said that even though SADC and AU had endorsed the election, they had acknowledged its flaws.

Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition Vice Chairperson, Grace Chirenje, told the SADC summit in Lilongwe that the regional body could suffer future repercussions over its decision to endorse the Zimbabwean poll.

“The template that SADC is using for Zimbabwe is reversing the gains of democratisation in our region and sets a really bad precedent that SADC will grapple with for several years. This must be stopped for the good of the region,” Chirenje said.

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